You can’t pick up an entertainment magazine or watch the news without hearing about Caitlyn Jenner, and with good reason. What she is doing for the transgender community by sharing her transition journey is nothing short of amazing – paving the way for so many others like her to come out and be their true selves, including kids and teens who may have otherwise felt isolated. It takes a brave human being to redefine themselves under the harsh glare of the public eye—and Caitlyn is doing it with grace and courage. In honor of GLAAD's #SpiritDay, which was created to show support for LGBT youth and take a stand against bullying, here are five times Caitlyn amazed us with her bravery.
1. When she came out in her Diane Sawyer interview on national television
Before Caitlyn came out as transgender, rumors about her transition were rampant. The paparazzi was following her and the media was churning out one piece after another speculating whether Bruce Jenner was transitioning into a woman. Instead of hiding, Caitlyn chose to address the rumors head on and confirm that she is, in fact, a woman. It was inpiring to watch Caitlyn answer difficult questions about her journey and bring the very idea of being transgender into the living rooms of millions of clueless Americans.
2. When she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair as Caitlyn
Rarely has the world so eagerly awaited an issue of a magazine as when Caitlyn Jenner revealed herself for the first time. The Vanity Fair cover is a stunning image of her in lingerie with the simple phrase, “Call Me Caitlyn." After living as a man for 65 years, it had to be so empowering to show everyone who she really is. Empowering, and also, terrifying. In being so candid with her new self, Caitlyn is helping so many other trans individuals to own who they are and be proud of it.
Her speech at the ESPY Awards
Was there a dry eye in the house when Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in front of her children and millions of viewers at home? In her speech, Caitlyn spoke so sincerely of the challenges the transgender community face every day and affirmed her intention to be a voice for them as she continues her path of sharing what it’s really like to go through that process. When Bruce Jenner stunned the world at the 1976 Olympics, his athletic feats were universally lauded and everyone saw a hero. On that stage accepting that award, the world saw Caitlyn – a hero of a different sort, a face for a cause that the general public is only beginning to understand. It was a very moving moment, no question.
4. When she introduced herself to her children as Caitlyn
In the premiere episode of I Am Cait, we get to see Caitlyn “meeting” her daughter Kylie Jenner for the first time as her true self. In this emotional exchange, we see the relief on Caitlyn’s face when she witnesses Kylie accepting and loving her for who she is. Any parent can relate to how terrified Caitlyn must have been before gaining the acceptance of their children. As a parent, I couldn’t help tearing up.
5. When she shared the process of her transition with the world on I Am Cait
Caitlyn could have continued with her transition while maximizing her privacty, even depsite the paparazzi following her every move. Instead, she chose to share her truth with the world in her docuseries, I Am Cait. There are many who have no idea what it means to be transgender and to make the huge decision to undergo gender transformation. There are also many kids and teens who have the feeling that they might be trans themselves and don’t understand the next step or feel like they have no support. By putting her story out there for everyone, Caitlyn is not only being brave, she is also making herself a poster child of sorts for the transgender community. Never has there been such a high-profile celebrity to bring all of this to light and what she is doing for them is truly immeasurable.
Caitlyn, we are all in awe of you and your bravery. Thank you for generously allowing us to witness every step of your fascinating journey.